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Radiat Med. 2002 May-Jun;20(3):121-9.

Loss of TRF2 by radiation-induced apoptosis in HL60 cells.

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Department of Radiology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Fukuura, Japan.



A telomere consists of the short tandem DNA repeats of (T2AG3)n localized to the distal ends of chromosomes. Telomere repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) has been implicated in the protection of chromosome ends. Recently, it has been reported that the loss of TRF2 induces apoptosis by various stimuli or genetic technique, however, the effects of radiation are not known. Therefore, this study investigated the interaction between TRF2 and radiation.


Western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, and a DNA fragmentation assay for the detection of apoptosis were performed. The interaction between elastase and TRF2 was also investigated in vitro.


Western blot analyses and immunohistochemistry showed that gamma-rays induce the temporary accumulation and subsequent loss of TRF2 protein in the nuclei of irradiated HL60 cells. Following DNA fragmentation, the loss of TRF2 could be detected. TRF2 was broken down by elastase, which was translocated into the nucleus before the loss of TRF2.


The results of the study showed that irradiation first induces activation of TRF2, consequently protecting the end of the chromosome. Subsequently, translocation of elastase into the nucleus results in the breakdown of TRF2 after DNA fragmentation has occurred.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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